Lon Tonneson has covered Dakota and Minnesota agriculture for 28 years. A South Dakota State University graduate, Lon worked on several weekly newspapers in South Dakota and southwest Minnesota before joining the staff of The Farmer magazine in 1980.
"I wanted to write about the biggest business in the Midwest – and that was agriculture," Lon says. "It turned out to be a good choice. Agriculture is still one the biggest industries in the region today and there are constantly new things to cover."
The Farmer assigned Lon to the Red River Valley. For one of his first assignments, he teamed up with a veteran freelancer reporter to investigate loan programs targeting financially distressed farmers. The story exposed an advanced fee loan fraud scheme being run out of Winnipeg, Canada, and won the freelancer and Lon writer of the year awards from the American Agricultural Editors Association.
Lon grew up on a hobby farm. As a teenager he raised horses, dairy calves and pickles and worked for a neighboring farmer. His interest in alternative enterprises continues. He and his family operated an entertainment farm for many years.He and his wife, Kathy, live on a farmstead near Fargo, N.D.